Vegan Lentil Bolognese (gluten-free, oil-free)


I am OBSESSED with this vegan lentil bolognese recipe and I am so eager to share it with all of you! Bolognese without any meat!? YES. This recipe is completely meat-free. Don’t be fooled – this is just as delicious as a traditional meaty pasta sauce. I serve this to my non-vegan friends and family and they gobble it up.

This dish is comforting, hearty, filling, packed with plant protein and loaded with fiber.

If you need an easy dinner recipe this is for you. 

This recipe is:





✔️Refined sugar free

✔️100% yummy


vegan lentil bolognese

What you’ll need…

I love the quinoa pasta from Trader Joe’s, it is most similar in taste and texture to traditional white pasta. Good news – the TJ quinoa pasta is totally vegan and gluten-free. I also like their low fat marinara sauce.

A great oil-free sauce can be found at Whole Foods, their 365 brand has a no oil added marinara.

You are also going to need some good old mushrooms for this dish! The mushrooms give the vegan lentil bolognese a really nice meaty texture in addition to the lentils.

vegan lentil bolognese

I also LOVE the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s this saves me so much time in the kitchen!

The sauce also has a ton of fresh zucchini…talk about a smart way to sneak veggies in for your picky spouse, self or kids!

You are also going to need fresh parsley for a garnish on this dish – it adds such a bright freshness.

vegan lentil bolognese

Reminds Me of Home

Growing up, my mom cooked us a lot of pasta! If you didn’t know, pasta is my #1 favorite food. My mom used to cook us dinner every single night and we would always have dinner as a family. Her meat sauce was so delicious…this healthy lentil version reminds me of it.

If you grew up eating pasta with meat sauce and miss it, you NEED to try this!

Replacing meat with lentils is a much healthier option. Lentils are packed with protein – a whopping 18 grams per cup (WINNING). They are also filled with fiber, and other vitamins and minerals.

vegan lentil bolognese

Meal Prep

I love making a big batch of this for the week and keeping it in the fridge. You can eat this on top of pasta, as a soup, on top of a potato, or on top of rice. It is so versatile and will keep in the fridge for about 4-5 days.

vegan lentil bolognese

If you need a vegan dish to impress your non-vegan friends and family…you need to serve this vegan lentil bolognese to them. They will be SO impressed and will leave your home full and happy.

vegan lentil bolognese

Here’s an idea!

Have you been wanting to cook dinner for you partner? Also, this is perfect to make for at-home date night too! I made this for my boyfriend and he loved it. He actually hates mushrooms and he will eat them in this sauce because they are cut up so small.

Another idea, cook this with your kids, get them involved! Teach your kids how to cook healthy meals at an early age, it is an invaluable skill that they will use for a life time.

vegan lentil bolognese

Quinoa Pasta





Vegan Parmesan


vegan lentil bolognese


I topped my vegan lentil bolognese with sunflower seed nut-free parmesan cheese and parsley! In addition, you can add whatever you like…chili flakes, basil, parsley, cheese, you name it.

vegan lentil bolognese


If you make this recipe I would love to see your creations! Post a picture or share on pinterest and tag me on Instagram or Facebook @healthygirlkitchen!

Go make this recipe! You’ll thank me later.

Vegan Lentil Bolognese (gluten-free, oil-free)

This vegan lentil bolognese is comforting, meaty, hearty, filling and nutritious. If you want a healthier version of a meat sauce you need to try this plant-based option!

the ingredients

  • 1 16 oz box of pasta I used quinoa pasta
  • 1 25 oz jar marinara
  • 1 8 oz container of mushrooms I used white button mushrooms
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2.5 cups french lentils I use the pre-cooked vacuum sealed lentils from the produce section of Trader Joe's
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • flat leaf parsley for garnish
  • vegan parmesan cheese


  • Boil water and add the pasta in. Follow the box instructions and strain when it's done. Rinse the pasta if you buy gluten-free. 
  • While the pasta cooks, dice the zucchini, garlic and mushrooms really small and then add into a large non-stick pan. Saute in their own waters until cooked and reduced (about 5-10 minutes). 
  • Once the veggies are cooked, add the cooked lentils and entire jar of marinara into the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined. 
  • Add lid to the pan with sauce and simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes. 
  • Top your pasta with the sauce and enjoy! Sprinkle on some vegan parmesan if you want! 

I hope you enjoy this vegan lentil bolognese as much as I do.

In good health,


Danielle Brown

Hi! I’m Danielle Brown, the face behind HealthyGirl Kitchen! I share easy, approachable plant-based recipes that are not only healthy but taste amazing. Follow me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for free vegan meal ideas, recipes and healthygirl tips.

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  1. Erin T says:

    Oh my gosh!!! This is utterly delicious I LOVE bolognese sauce, but as someone very new to my plant-based journey, so I was wondering how this recipe would hold up and it did not disappoint. In particular, I was able to find the specific lentils referenced from trader Joe’s and they have great seasoning all in their own – I wanted to eat them playing right out of the package. The only adjustment I made was that I only cooked half of the pasta (and did cook it for 6 minutes longer than the package referenced because I prefer it pretty soft) but still ended up mixing almost all of the sauce on top of it because that’s how much sauce I enjoy. Otherwise, I did everything exactly as referenced and cannot wait to eat on this all week for lunch!